Registered: Aug 2003
posted May 31, 2006 04:07 PM
16-plex to open on June 30 near Montréal. the lifestyle center is called Les Quartiers Dix/30 (Autoroute 10 and 30)
A 16-screen Cineplex Odeon multiplex is the first retailer to open at a sprawling shopping and entertainment complex now under construction in Brossard.
The $14-million, 3,142-seat movie theatre will open June 30, giving customers their first glimpse of a project expected to bring an urban feel to suburban Brossard - a fusion of outlet stores, cafes, a concert hall, a hotel and other businesses at the intersection of Highways 10 and 30.
"The entire site, in addition to ourselves, becomes the destination," said Pat Marshall, spokesperson for Cineplex Entertainment LP, which owns Cineplex Odeon, Galaxy and Famous Players theatres. "It's our theatre, in combination with other retail, with great restaurants. It's a great project."
Called les Quartiers Dix/30, the project is expected to cost $300 million over five years, a March 2005 bulletin published by the Human Resource Centre of Canada says. It's the South Shore's first lifestyle centre - an increasingly popular shopping concept that lures customers by mixing stores with attractive pedestrian walkways and the convenience of ample parking.
Devimco Inc., the project's developer, wouldn't reveal any details about the project before a June 19 press conference.
Yet fear is growing among some South Shore businesspeople that competition from Dix/30 will overwhelm local businesses.
"I have heard from people who are very concerned," said Louise Ledoux, president of the Association des gens d'affaires de Brossard.
"This will have a huge impact on local business on the South Shore," added Brossard Mayor Jean-Marc Pelletier.
"That's part of life. But we're doing our best to support local business so they don't vanish."
Tax revenues generated from Dix/30 will be used to beautify Taschereau and Lapiniere Blvds., two Brossard commercial arteries in need of a facelift, Pelletier said. The newly demerged city is spending $500,000 this year to plant trees on Taschereau.
It's beautification that the strips desperately need if they want to remain competitive, Jacques said.
"People aren't necessarily going to spend more because there are more shopping centres," said Jacques Nantel, marketing professor at HEC Montreal.
"This isn't China, the market is already pretty saturated."
According to Statistics Canada census data, Brossard's population declined slightly from 66,000 to 65,000 between 1996 to 2001.
But new housing is being developed around the project and Brossard residents - with a median household income of $63,397 - are more affluent than the Quebec average.
The project, which is easily visible from the highway, is also expected to attract customers from across the South Shore, Pelletier said.
Retail experts predict the new project will actually benefit other businesses because the lifestyle concept tends to draw new customers.
"This will probably bring people into the area," said Dalan Bronson, a senior consultant at JC Williams Group.
"Lifestyle centres, as much as they're up and coming, are not going to replace traditional shopping centres."
Managers of nearby shopping centres like the Champlain Mall, say they are closely following the evolution of Project Dix/30, but believe the new development is good for the region.
"I look at this positively," said Normand Blouin, a senior vice- president for Cadillac Fairview, which owns Promenades St. Bruno. "This proves that the economy is healthy."
Cinemas Guzzo, which has theatres in Longueuil and Greenfield Park, is prepared to take some initial losses as customers check out the new Brossard theatre.
"Will they take business from us? Probably at the beginning," said the theatre's vice-president, Vincenzo Guzzo.
"Will it have a long-term impact? Probably not
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